Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of this story contained the incorrect name of Lady Gaga’s opening song. The song she opened with was, “God Bless America.”
Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show — while not overtly political — contained some social commentary just below the surface.
In the very beginning of her performance, the pop artist sang “God Bless America” before quickly switching to, “This Land is Your Land,” a Woody Guthrie tune popular in many of the protests that have taken place after President Trump took office. People sang the song at women’s marches across the nation the day after Trump’s inauguration and at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in light of Trump’s immigration travel ban among other instances.
The song is popular at protests because it sort of is a protest song. The U.S. Library of Congress said Guthrie, a product of the Great Depression, wrote it in response to “God Bless America.” Guthrie didn’t like the song because he said it ignored the uneven distribution of wealth in America.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been surprising for Gaga to say something political, given her support of Hillary Clinton and the fact she staged a one-woman protest after Trump won the election. She also regularly preaches and sings about inclusiveness, particularly when it comes to race and sexual orientation.
She had said before the performance she would weave any statements through her music.